Viktor Frankl was one of the few able to survive unfathomable tragedy: the Nazi concentration camps. Some years later he gave insight into his survival with an awesome statement, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”
In our world, our attitude has become some uncontrollable commodity. Having a bad attitude has become like catching a cold. If something bad happened during the day, we justify our bad attitude as if we can’t help it. It works in one of two ways, either we let our thoughts determine our emotions or our emotions determine our thoughts. How was Viktor Frankl able to have a positive attitude in the midst of horrific situations? He chose to do so!
Life is hard. It’s so easy to let our surroundings take us down and our attitude down with it. This is exactly why it’s so awesome to be a Christian. No matter what difficulty we face, no matter what trials come our way, no matter how tragic our life becomes, we can still live with a smile on our faces. Why? Because of the joy we have in Christ.
This is how we can live the, sometimes fancifully viewed, words of Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
No one can take away our happy attitude unless we chose to give it up. As Christians, we have so very much to be joyful about. Let’s display this attitude in the face of difficulty. We will be better for it and it will stand out in our otherwise tragic world.